Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It Doesn't Have to Be Either/Or

Over the past year, the Feeding Center Program hasn’t gotten much attention because so much attention has been placed on the new sponsorship program, Manna 4 Lempira, and also on the spin-off Sister Church Sponsorship Program. Allen and Trish want you to know the feeding centers continue to operate and are filling a very important need in the lives of children throughout Western Honduras.

Why Feeding Centers?

No matter how big Manna 4 Lempira becomes, there will always be certain feeding centers, which are never going to become part of the sponsorship program. They are too remote, too small, or the roads are too bad to access regularly. Sowers4Pastors can’t make the commitment to travel to those places regularly to get updates on the children, deliver letters, backpacks and shoes from the sponsors, and just generally to oversee the program adequately to the level of a sponsorship center. Still, the Sponsorship Program continues to benefit the children of those remote feeding centers because any excess funding is used to provide meals for them.

The feeding centers continue to feed children at the mind-boggling cost of 2 cents a meal. Sowers4Pastors is absolutely continuing to accept and encourage funds for these centers. Since the food is donated, almost 100% of the funds are used to pay for shipping the containers of food to Honduras. The pastors of these areas donate their time and location for the centers. Volunteers collect firewood to use for cooking fuel and they prepare the food. Pastors put together Bible lessons, music,  games, etc…

The feeding center numbers declined during coffee harvest (October through January) as many of the pastors, the children’s families, and some of the children themselves were off working the harvest. Allen pointed out the families also have more income during those months. Now that the harvest season is over, there is an upswing in activity and children are returning to get their food.

Give a Fish/Teach to Fish

Allen, Trish, and I discussed how there are different trains of thought among missionaries (and lay people) as to what needs should be met. Some people are gung ho about meeting the physical needs. Others only care about meeting spiritual needs. Sowers4Pastors made the decision to care for both the physical and spiritual needs because that’s what Jesus did.

The Sowers understand the pitfalls about making it “all about the goodies,” so they’re cautious. They have rules in place to avoid people expecting handouts.

We’ve all heard the analogy about how much good can be done for the price of a fancy cup of coffee. It’s probably the most overused analogy in regards to missions work. Yet, there’s a reason it is overused; it fits the situation. For the price of one la-di-da Starbucks drink, 200 children could receive one meal at a feeding center. One single donation of $200 is enough to feed 100 children two meals a week - for a year!

Trish pointed out, “The disparity is so great. Even for those of us who think the spiritual aspect is by far the most important thing, we as Americans have so much more - and we have a responsibility to help those who have so much less. We should do something. We should help. We try to do this carefully.”

Allen added, “It’s the analogy about giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish. We do both. It doesn’t have to be either/or.”

Trish ended the thought with, “Children are still developing. If what they need to get ahead is an education, not having the nutrition for proper brain development will affect their ability to get that education, to move their lives into a better place. We make no apologies for giving malnourished children food.”

This is a fantastic giving opportunity for people who may not currently be in the position to take on a full-time child sponsorship!

  - posted by Christi

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